GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

03 numbers cause concerns for many consumers

Last month, the law changed so that 0845 premium lines could no longer be used to provide support services to consumers. As a result, many call centres have switched to local numbers with combinations beginning with 03. However, in new research, it was shown that many consumers are wary of these new 03 options, a fact that telephone answering services must be aware of.

In the latest research conducted by ICM, it was shown that the best performance for new numbers came from 0333. However, 64 per cent of those who called this number admitted they were either “concerned” or “very concerned” about using it. Meanwhile, only 39 per cent showed the same level of distress over using 01 or 02 prefixes, despite all the numbers having the same cost. Conversely, consumers seemed to lump 03 numbers with 0845 numbers, with 66 per cent worried about the latter, 65 per cent concerned about 0345 numbers and 68 per cent anxious about using 0370 numbers.

The results clearly show that many consumers think of the 03 prefix as an expensive premium rate similar to 0845 numbers. Although this is not true, it indicates that call centres will need to do a lot of work to assuage consumer fears as the use of 03 prefixes increases over the coming months. Alternatively, companies could seek to use local numbers, which are more readily identified by many customers as cheaper rate options.

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